The future of the industry is a hot topic of conversation, especially when it comes to maturing, progressing, and different ways of telling a story.
Ubisoft Toronto boss (and new mom) Jade Raymond feels that it's long past time for this industry to "grow up," and we can do it without simulating a brainless blockbuster in order to sell millions of copies. During a recent CVG interview , the former Assassin's Creed director spoke about how her studio plans to look into "meaning":
"I really do feel it's time for our medium to grow up. I think we don't need to make the equivalent to a Michael Bay flick in order to sell five million copies. I think things can be exciting, have meaning and hit important topics, and I'm not the only one that thinks that. There are major franchises trying to have more meaning and be something more interesting. We obviously tried a bit – and I hope it was obvious – to make a story with more meaning and mature themes in Assassin's Creed.
It's definitely something that we're pushing for at Ubisoft Toronto. I think every other entertainment medium or art form does manage to have commercial success and have the viewers or audience think or be inspired. Games, I think, have even more potential than that given that on top of the narrative side we do have all of the gameplay mechanics and we create rule sets from scratch which can have any kind of meaning embedded in them. It's not easy to do that, because it requires breaking our recipe and trying to find new recipes, but I think it's an important thing for us to strive for."
For a while now, we've been discussing the direction games should take; we've often referred to the likes of Heavy Rain as an example of storytelling progression. But there's a whole lot farther we can go, and it's all about exploring new ideas and how to implement those ideas. What we need are more people like Raymond who really do believe gaming needs to "grow up." Only then will it receive more respect.
…how long have I been saying that?